Crispy Harissa Squid

If you love spicy aromatic harissa paste and if you love fried squid or calamari, then these tasty Crispy Harissa Squid morsels will be a case of love at first bite.

Harissa paste is usually made from dried chilies, garlic, olive oil and toasted cumin seeds, caraway seeds, and coriander seeds. It’s deliciously versatile and can be added to any meat, roast chicken or fish to brighten up the flavours with a fragrant kick.

Introduce it to your burger mix, add it to a salad dressing for some spicy zing, use it in pasta and mix it into hummus – and, one of my favourites, spreading it liberally over roasted vegetables to liven things up.

Rose harissa is a variation that includes dried rose petals or rose water to soften the heat of the chillies and add an unexpected floral flavouring. You have to try it. 

Harissa squid is so easy to make at home and is a feast when you have weekend guests. You can double it or triple it to suit the numbers and, if you prefer, use whole tubes instead of rings (with the heads, if you’re not too squeamish).

Crispy Harissa Squid

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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    For the squid

  • 10 squid tubes cleaned and sliced into thin rings
  • 2 tablespoons harissa paste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon light sea salt flakes
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • Lemon wedges to serve

  • For the mayonnaise

  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons harissa paste


  1. Place the harisa paste, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix to combine
  2. Add the squid rings and toss to coat
  3. Set aside to marinate for about 15 minutes
  4. Half fill a large pan with oil and place over a medium heat until the oil has reached a temperature of 180 Celsius / 350 Fahrenheit
  5. Add the flour to the squid mixture and toss until well coated and the rings are sticky
  6. Add the squid rings to the hot oil in batches, until golden and crisp
  7. Drain on paper towel until ready to serve
  8. Make the mayonnaise by mixing together the mayonnaise, harissa paste and garlic
  9. Serve the squid with lemon wedges and harissa mayonnaise for dipping

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